Boat owners are advised to get their boats out of area marinas during a hurricane evacuation and make plans to secure their vessels.
Most boaters tie their boats to sheltered "hurricane holes" around the state. Hurricane holes are low-lying tidal creeks with high banks, often sheltered by trees. A boat should not be left on a trailer on land, because it's likely to blow over.
Marinas also urge that nobody stay in a boat during a storm.
Evacuating the boat is the responsibility of the boater at most marinas. Boat owners can get help and advice from their marina on where and how to move and protect their boats.
Beaufort County Emergency Management deputy director David Zeoli cautions boaters to make sure their boats -- whether on land or water -- are secure, because they could be held responsible for any damage they cause. The U.S. Coast Guard could also seize any boats that are unsecured during a storm.
Mooring or anchoring your boat with a hurricane approaching, especially in a harbor of refuge that isn't crowded, is a good bet for your boat's safety. Doing so keeps the boat from swinging to face the wind.
Use two storm anchors at an angle off either side of the bow, and a third storm anchor directly in front of the bow.
It's important to have plenty of scope -- at least 10 to 1 -- and a lot of heavy, oversized chain at the anchor. A 10-to-1 scope means that if the water is 10 feet deep and the top of your bow is 4 feet above the water surface, you need at least 140 feet of line out. Length of line may be influenced by the proximity of other craft, as well.
Chain between the nylon anchor line and anchor helps prevent the anchor from pulling up at an angle.
An ideal hurricane hole should be far enough inland to provide shelter from high winds and tidal surges, but not so far as to be difficult to reach in a relatively short time.
Spots to check out include up some local rivers -- the May River, Bull Creek, Colleton River, Chechessee River and Little Chechessee, among others.